Philips recently announced its first Bluetooth-connected Sonicare toothbrush aimed at adults, which interfaces with an iPhone to monitor brushing habits, offer brushing tips, and make sure you're brushing right.

Priced at $199, the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected takes the well-known and popular FlexCare brush and introduces iPhone connectivity through a Sonicare app that tracks everything from how long you brush to where you brush to how hard you brush.

sonicarebox

Design and Features

I've used Sonicare brushes for upwards of 10 years so I'm familiar with most of the brushes and brush heads, and the FlexCare is one step down from the top of the line brush, the DiamondClean (my day to day brush). To be honest, I'm disappointed that Philips added Bluetooth connectivity to the FlexCare instead of the DiamondClean because it doesn't have quite as many features (3 modes instead of 5) and the non-unibody design isn't as nice.

flexcareanddiamondclean

The FlexCare Platinum Connected next to a Diamondclean brush

The FlexCare looks like your standard electric toothbrush, with a removable brush head that needs to be replaced every three months or so, a power button, and buttons for adjusting settings like intensity. Since brush heads are removable, you can share your FlexCare Connected base among several family members if you want to.

sonicarepackagecontents
There are three cleaning modes: clean, a standard two-minute daily cleaning mode; white, a shorter mode designed to remove surface stains; and deep clean, a longer three-minute mode for a deeper clean. The main round button on the FlexCare turns it on and off, while the longer button is the one used to switch through the modes.

A third button at the bottom of the brush lets users select an intensity from one of three options: low, medium, and high. Users with sensitive gums and teeth will want to choose the low option, while the higher option will result in a better, quicker clean with up to 62,000 brush strokes a minute.

sonicarebrushheads
Unique to the FlexCare Platinum Connected is a set of sensors that are designed to work specifically with the app. There's a location sensor that relays where the brush is in your mouth, a pressure sensor that makes sure you're not applying too much pressure when you brush (which can damage your gums) and a scrubbing sensor to make sure you're not moving the brush too much (with a Sonicare, the brush does the work - you basically just hold it up to your teeth).

Sonicare ships the FlexCare Platinum Connected with two of its newest brush heads, the InterCare and the AdaptiveClean. Both of these brush heads are on the larger side compared to other Sonicare brush heads so they cover a lot of surface area. The InterCare brush is designed to reach more deeply between the teeth while the AdaptiveClean has flexible sides that are supposed to cover more of the tooth for a better clean.

Sonicare brush heads are supposed to be replaced every three months and cost somewhere around $10 to $15 per brush head, so that's an expense to be aware of when purchasing a toothbrush like the FlexCare Platinum Connected. Integrity of the brush head is important for better plaque removal than a manual toothbrush (Philips promises that its brushes remove as much as 10x more plaque).

sonicareflexcarebrush
Sound wise, the FlexCare Platinum Connected is louder than the DiamondClean but it isn't obnoxiously loud. It sounds like your average electric toothbrush.

The FlexCare Connected can be purchased with or without a UV sanitizer (the model with one is $20 more expensive) that can be used to sanitize brush heads. I've previously owned a UV sanitizer and while it works fine, I don't think it's an essential piece of equipment. You just stick your brush head in the container, shut the door, and turn on the light to kill germs.

sonicareuvsanitizer
It's simple enough, but there are bacteria in your mouth anyway that you can't UV sanitize and toothpaste is probably taking care of a lot of the lingering bacteria on the brush.

App

Sonicare's app isn't for tracking brushing habits over time, but for making sure you're brushing the right way in the moment, something I found to be a lot more useful than the over-time tracking feature in the Oral-B app designed for the Oral-B Bluetooth toothbrush.

sonicareappbrushinginterface
The Sonicare brush connected seamlessly and quickly to my iPhone through the Sonicare app. Using the app is done by launching it before you turn on the brush for a daily brushing session. As soon as the brush turns on, the app displays a 3D model of a mouth and guides you through brushing each quadrant of your mouth. As you brush, the teeth in the 3D model go from yellow to white to denote progress, which is quite motivating.

flexcarewithapp
Using the sensors in the brush, the app can vaguely tell where the brush is located in your mouth, so it's able to detect how long you spend brushing each area. With the "Clean" setting, it walks you through two minutes of brushing and then directs you to turn the brush on again for a touchup of all the areas where you didn't spend enough time, making sure everything is thoroughly clean. It's also able to detect too much brush movement and too much pressure, sending alerts through the app each time.

sonicarepressurealert
The FlexCare Platinum Connected's movement sensors are decent, but not infallible. The app can detect which side of your teeth you're brushing in each quadrant based on the way the brush is held, but if the app is directing you to brush the upper left quadrant and you do lower right, it can't tell the difference. You have to follow along with the app for it to be effective.


I also felt like it was giving me more touch up areas than necessary, but in general, I got a more thorough clean than I do brushing on my own. As for the pressure and movement sensors, these are sensitive and effective and always accurately prevented me from pressing too hard or moving the brush back and forth too vigorously in my mouth.

I'm a dedicated brusher, but the app was still useful because it made sure I was brushing for the right amount of time and in the right way each and every time I brushed. The app also gamifies brushing, allowing users to earn points for completing tasks like brushing properly, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash.

For people who need more motivation to brush, it definitely works. There are also goals to work towards to achieve fresher breath, healthier gums, and whiter teeth. Most of these goals can be achieved by doing things like brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing.

sonicarebrushinggoals
What the app doesn't do well is track brushing habits over time because of a somewhat confusing layout. You can see your weekly progress towards goals you've set and export data for your dentist, it's hard to get just a quick overview of statistics like how many times you've brushed, for how long, when you've flossed, and more.

There are some quirks with the app, which I hope Philips will address in future updates. It doesn't send out brushing reminders, it doesn't always ask for specific data on whether or not I've flossed or rinsed (and thus does not catalog this data), and the design is overcomplicated with content overlap in the "Progress" and "Goals" sections that makes long-term data collection difficult, but for bare bones brushing tracking and motivating, it works.

Other app features include reminders on when to replace brush heads, battery readings, product recommendations, the ability to set focus areas based on dentist feedback, appointment tracking, and coaching for better brushing habits.

Bottom Line

At $199, the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected isn't cheap by any means, but the price point is in line with other top-of-the-line Sonicare toothbrushes from Philips, including other FlexCare and DiamondClean models. It's also a price comparable to some higher-end electric toothbrushes from companies like Oral-B.

There are a lot of people out there who use (and are satisfied with) manual toothbrushes that cost a handful of dollars, which can make a $200 toothbrush (and the replacement brush heads) sound absolutely outrageous, but as a long time devotee of the electric toothbrush and the Sonicare line in general, I believe it's worth the price point if you're looking for something that is unquestionably going to improve your dental hygiene and potentially cut down on dentist bills.

My teeth feel much cleaner when I use a Sonicare brush compared to a normal brush, and I was a big fan of the two brushes that came with the FlexCare Platinum Connected. They easily reached all of my teeth with little effort and left my mouth feeling clean for hours.

If you already own a Sonicare and are in need of an upgrade, the FlexCare Platinum Connected is worth looking at, but if you already own an electric brush, the features the app adds probably aren't worth investing in something new. They're nice to have, especially for people who need a little extra motivation to get their daily brushing in or those who want to make sure they're brushing thoroughly, but ultimately, it's the brush and the brush head that are doing all the work cleaning your teeth, not the app.

philipssonicareflexcareconnected
That said, features like pressure sensing are invaluable for someone like me -- I brush much too hard when left to my own devices and that's caused some problems for me in the past -- and it was also nice to know when I didn't spend enough time in one area. If you're looking for a better brushing experience and don't mind investing the money, the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected is a solid choice.

Pros:

  • Thoroughly cleans teeth
  • Gentle on gums
  • App encourages better brushing habits
  • Sensor alerts for pressure/movement
  • Two week battery life

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • App interface is confusing
  • Brush heads must be replaced
  • FlexCare brush handle needs to be dried after each use to prevent mold growth

How to Buy

The Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected can be purchased for $199 from the Philips website or from Amazon.com. A version with a UV brush head sanitizer is also available for $219.99.

Note: Philips provided the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected to MacRumors free of charge for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received.

Top Rated Comments

RiddlaBronc Avatar
59 months ago
Waiting on bluetooth toilet paper to alert me if i didnt wipe correctly or if im using too much paper. Imagine the saving of toilet paper in the long run.

.....
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BeefCake 15 Avatar
59 months ago
I'm waiting for the Bluetooth Bidet option to do the same functionality too!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Return Zero Avatar
59 months ago
Wow... This reminds me of the bluetooth-equipped fork. Not everything in life needs to be connected.

I do love my basic sonicare but paying $20 for 3 replacement heads is a straight rip-off. It's like having to replace razor blades or ink cartridges. I might be downgrading back to a manual brush soon because of it. I have to save that money for Apple Watch 2 :D
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
59 months ago
I bought this toothbrush and after more then a month I can say - I am very happy. Before it I used Diamond care , but the new one is better. Using the phone and the Sonicare app helps me to control mainly the pressure.
In combination with the Waterpik waterflosser - my aural hygien is much better.
You use a toothbrush... and a waterpik? How freaking big are your ears?o_O:eek::D:p

Myself, I just use a Q-Tip.;)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Porco Avatar
59 months ago
But I don't want blue teeth! :D
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jotwee Avatar
59 months ago
“You want to make a hair beret WITH BLUETOOTH?”
“Penny, everything is better with bluetooth!”
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
Top Stories 47 Feature copy

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, and AirPods Rumors, macOS 11.2.2, MagSafe Wallet Revisited

Saturday February 27, 2021 6:00 am PST by
March is right around the corner, and that means our first good opportunity for Apple product launches in 2021 as the company frequently has significant launches in March or April each year. We're hearing rumors about MacBook Pro, iMac, AirPods, and more, although many of these will be coming out at different times over the course of the year. This week also saw a macOS update to address a ...
iphone 6 in hand

Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Monday March 1, 2021 6:44 am PST by
Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices. The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it...
maxresdefault

HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out

Saturday February 27, 2021 7:05 am PST by
HomeKit was slow to take off after its 2014 launch, but now that it's been around for seven years, there are hundreds of HomeKit products available, ranging from doorbells and speakers to TVs, lights, and cameras. In our latest YouTube video, we rounded up some of our favorite HomeKit products that we find most useful. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. HomePod...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
iphone 12 pro display video

iPhone 13 to Include 1TB Storage Option and LiDAR Across the Board, Says Wedbush Analyst

Monday March 1, 2021 4:00 am PST by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 13 could include a 1TB storage option for some models and LiDAR Scanners across the entire lineup, according to a report from Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said that initial Asian supply chain checks gave the firm "increased confidence" that Apple's 5G-driven product cycle would extend well into 2022,...
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
mac mini developer transition kit photo feature

Apple Requiring Developers to Return DTK Mac Minis by March 31

Friday February 26, 2021 3:57 pm PST by
Apple today sent out emails to developers who are in possession of a Developer Transition Kit, asking them to return the machines by March 31. The Developer Transition Kits are Mac minis with A12Z chips that Apple provided for development purposes ahead of the release of the M1 Macs. Apple in the emails provided developers with shipping instructions, and plans to begin collecting the DTKs...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

Kuo: iPhone 13 Lineup to Feature Smaller Notch and Larger Batteries, 120Hz Display for Pro Models, and More

Monday March 1, 2021 7:50 am PST by
iPhone 13 models will all feature a smaller notch, while the two Pro models will be equipped with low-power LTPO display technology for a 120Hz refresh rate, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Several other sources have previously claimed that some iPhone 13 models will support a 120Hz refresh...
unc0ver version 6 release

Jailbreak Tool 'unc0ver' 6.0.0 Released With iOS 14.3 Compatibility

Sunday February 28, 2021 9:26 am PST by
The team behind the "unc0ver" jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 6.0.0 of its software, which can allegedly be used to jailbreak any device running iOS 11.0 through iOS 14.3 using a kernel vulnerability. The unc0ver website describes how the tool has been extensively tested across a range of iOS devices running various software versions, including an iPhone 12 Pro Max running iOS ...